Getting a rough collie, would love some advice on what to expect!
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Thread: Getting a rough collie, would love some advice on what to expect!

  1. #1
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    Getting a rough collie, would love some advice on what to expect!

    I've found the perfect dog and the perfect breeder...I'm on a waiting list now for a rough collie. I THINK that it's a perfect breeder anyway! My puppy is guaranteed to be tested for CEA, PRA, DM, CN, DMS, and MDR1. None of their collies are carriers of CEA or MDR1 though, which is very promising IMO. The pups are raised with a TON of children, which is fantastic since I have young nieces that visit every weekend.

    I'm hoping that this pup will be my hiking and walking partner in the future, so I want to do my best to get him used to the world. Every sight and sound...I'm now realizing what a huge task that seems to be! Any tips for socializing a pup from the get-go?

    I'm also worried about the barking...I hear that these guys are barkers. I'm more than willing to take on the task of teaching him not to bark, but I can't find much on whether they are harder to train in this aspect than others.

    Also, when to begin obedience training?? He will be 8 weeks when I get him. Of course he'll need all of his shots first, but is there a crucial window I will be missing if I wait too long to take him to class?

    My breeder said that puppies generally cry a LOT during the first few nights at home. What can I do to make his nights in his kennel more comfy? I'm afraid that if I put a soft bed in his crate to lie on, he will just rip it up as puppies do. Also...water in the crate?

    I'm a bit lost on what the best food for him would be...the food that the breeder gives her dogs is about $80 for a 20 lb bag. I'm not living in poverty by any means but that's a LOT of money!!
    Last edited by TobiDaDog; 06-24-2019 at 07:28 PM.

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    Re: Getting a rough collie, would love some advice on what to expect!

    Welcome to dog ownership (and new puppy 101).

    At 8 weeks old you have a baby. Expect the baby to cry the first few nights in a crate. He is used to being with litter mates and is now in a new place. I would buy a small crate (plastic, not wire) big enough for him to stand up and turn around in. At night but the crate next to your bed. Get up every two hours to let him out and get him to pee (and poop if he needs to) then right back in the crate and you both should (ideally) go back to sleep. For every month of age you should expect him to hold his bladder for 1 hour. So at 8 weeks he will need to go out every two hours. This stage will pass and you both will get good at it! As he grows you will have to get bigger crates until he is full grown at which point a "450" or "500" crate is probably the right size as an adult. You cannot use the big crate for a puppy as they will soil it more readily.

    Barking is a thing.. and the trick is to not reward it when you don't want it to happen. Inadvertent rewards are talking to the dog, food, toys and play when the dog barks. OTOH there are times when barking is fine and should NOT be shut down (such as someone at the door, playing and engaging etc.). How you handle it will depend on what you want.

    Remember to get your collie baby used to grooming since I think a rough coat collie needs a bit of that. Remember again.. you have a baby and baies have the attention span of a gnat.

    For Obedience I would start with a puppy class. It is all about getting the puppy to want to be with you while out learning about the world. the call it "socialization" but that is a poor descriptive. It really is letting your puppy get out in the world and being exposed to the environment. It is NOT about letting every Tom, **** and Harry pet or handle your puppy. Some handling if the puppy wants to and the person is nice (does not lean over the puppy and that sort of thing). I would not let my puppy greet and play with other puppies or dogs. It is not a thing I do and I would NEVER let my puppy or dog greet another on leash. It is unnatural for both animals and can create trouble.

    Just remember he is a BABY and he will still have a puppy brain until he is over two years old.
    I also would not neuter him if he is a male (ever). You are going to have him with you and he is not going to be breeding so why neuter (unless medically necessary such as prostate issues when he is older or he has a retained testicle). Females I keep intact until age 3 and then spay (heats are a PIA).

    Food: I would START by using the the same as the breeder. You are changing a LOT in this puppy's life buy bringing him home. Don't change his diet at first. After he has been with you a couple of weeks you can start to change to a different food.

    I feed RAW. I buy a premix and add other things (I use Raw Energy). There are others such as Oma's. I NEVER feed "puppy" kibble because it tends to create fast growth that can lead to Pano.. (inflammation of the growth plates). It is better to feed a reputable "all life stages" food. With all the recalls and issues with kibble I stopped feeding it a couple of years ago. The Grain Free stuff started to have legume (pea) fillers that gave false indications of protein (high protein on the bag but not digestible for the dog) and other fillers.. lacking Taurine and the result being cardiomyopathy. I guess if I was to feed kibble again I will look at Merrick products. Abady is another one that I used to feed.. granular "Maintenance and Stress" formula (red label on the box). It is PRICEY but you feed very little. I think 40 pounds was over $100.

    There are a TON of articles out there on puppy raising. Others here can guide you. I like "The Naughty Dogge" but there are many many good sites and I am sure others here will recommend those.

    Most of all, HAVE FUN and keep things happy!!

  4. #3
    Senior Member PatriciafromCO's Avatar
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    Re: Getting a rough collie, would love some advice on what to expect!

    My childhood nanny dog was an older collie Dutches, and her son was my childhood dog Rusty. Kids know nothing about training, but we did everything, went everywhere, made up games. Rusty would never leave my side and listen to everything I ask of him and listen to everything we were doing. He even knew i wasn't supposed to wander out of the yard as a toddler, that he dragged me back in (not gracefully lol since it was a broken concrete driveway he dragged me across. his heart was in the right place <3) You have a wonderful breed, extraordinary Intelligent focus observant breed can seem very needy and naughty pushy as pups. Help him develop their, want to do , see, curious mind. focus work, nose work scent games.. and just chilling hanging out. Sweet dog , highly passionate towards his family and home.. He will look after you for the rest of his life and protect you well when needed.. Your job is to protect him and not over whelm him too much too fast.... Good balanced dog is already in them....

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    Senior Member LeoRose's Avatar
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    Re: Getting a rough collie, would love some advice on what to expect!

    Training starts as soon as you get them home. Incorporate training into your play sessions. A minute here, a minute there, half a dozen treats here, half a dozen treats there.... it all adds up. If you want to take him to a class, make sure that it is only for younger puppies, has strict vaccination requirements, and is not just unstructured mayhem.

    Start with grooming right off the bat. Get him used to being brushed and combed, having his nails done, and used to being handled. Rough Collies can have a LOT of coat, and you don't want to let him get matted.

    Socialization is important. and it ideally needs to happen while he's still in the middle of his puppy series of shots. Take him out and about, but use common sense. Opt for rolling in a shopping cart through the home improvement store over plopping him down in the middle of the pet supply store. Sit outside the grocery store and let him see the sights. He doesn't need to greet every person or dog he sees, but he does need to see them, and know that they aren't scary.

    Try putting some bedding in the crate, and see what happens. My mutt loved her comfy bed. My GSD either peed or chewed on hers (sometimes both), so she wound up sleeping on the bare pan.

    I'd go ahead and bite the bullet and get at least one bag of what he's been used to eating. Keep him on it for a couple of weeks, and then transition him over tow something else, if you'd like.
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    Senior Member Jen2010's Avatar
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    Re: Getting a rough collie, would love some advice on what to expect!

    Other posters here have given some great advice already.

    My breeder said that puppies generally cry a LOT during the first few nights at home. What can I do to make his nights in his kennel more comfy? I'm afraid that if I put a soft bed in his crate to lie on, he will just rip it up as puppies do. Also...water in the crate?
    I bought a cheap puppy blanket and had it used by the mother dogs and other puppies about 3-4 weeks before we brought our first puppy home. The puppy then got that blanket in her crate when we brought her home. It had all the familiar smells on it and helped comfort her during those first several nights (our puppy only shredded bedding if she was left alone in the crate). We had the crate beside our bed so I could reach down and comfort her too if necessary. Having it there also helped alert us to if she was awake and might need to go outside. We didn't set an alarm for every 2 hours, but when we heard she was awake we took her out right away. You won't get a restful sleep for a while, but it will get better each week as the puppy gets older. As for the crate itself, I've found that our dogs prefer the metal ones since it allows them to see out better. Ours came with a wire divider so you could section it off and then slowly make the space bigger as the puppy grows.

    As for water in the crate you will probably get different replies; people have different opinions. Personally I don't give my dogs water in the crate, especially for young puppies who can't "hold it" very long. They have unlimited access to water out of the crate though. Other people think that it's horrible to withhold water. Do what works for you. If I tried to give my dogs water in their crates they would likely spill it. Also when the dogs are inactive in their crates, they don't really need water anyway. On a lazy day I've seen them go all day without drinking anything (by choice) so I don't think it's a big deal.

    For food I would do as the others have suggested. Buy a bag of what the breeder is feeding, then after a couple of weeks slowly start to transition to something else.
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    Re: Getting a rough collie, would love some advice on what to expect!

    Congratulations, sounds like you'll have a great puppy! When we first got Gracie she was about 8 weeks. She did whimper a little the first night in her crate (it was in the living room, one room away from ours). I put a small radio playing white noise quietly by her crate and that seemed to do the trick.

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    Re: Getting a rough collie, would love some advice on what to expect!

    Thank you guys so much for the wonderful advice so far!! The breeder will be providing a bag of his usual food to start with, so I'm planning on going from there with it. Also, it's in my contract that I have to have him neutered!!

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    Senior Member LeoRose's Avatar
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    Re: Getting a rough collie, would love some advice on what to expect!

    Quote Originally Posted by TobiDaDog View Post
    Thank you guys so much for the wonderful advice so far!! The breeder will be providing a bag of his usual food to start with, so I'm planning on going from there with it. Also, it's in my contract that I have to have him neutered!!
    Glad the breeder will be giving you some food to start off with.

    As far as neutering him, you will get a huge range of opinions, from "well of course you need to neuter him" to "why would you want to rob him of his natural hormones?" . There have been studies recently that have shown some benefit to either leaving dogs intact, or at least waiting until after maturity to alter them. If you can wait for a bit to neuter, like until he's 12 to 18 months, that would be the best option. If the breeder requires it before then, see if you can't wait until he's at least 6 month old before neutering him.
    ~~The current Hellhounds~~
    CA Speed Queen Leontine Von Washateria ETD PKD-T D-CRO-Preliminary S-ADP-L5/CH/L1(Pr)/L2(Pr) GPS-BST (GSD)
    Lily Dale- A Melody Unchained ETD PKD-T ADP-L5/CH/L1(Pr) GPS-BST (APBT)
    ~~Requiescat In Pace~~
    Ilka Of Pear Orchard Cemetery BN RE CA CGC TKP ETD PKD-T CRO-1 NCO-1 S-ADP-L4 D-CRO-Preliminary (All American) ~2009-2017~

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    Senior Member PatriciafromCO's Avatar
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    Re: Getting a rough collie, would love some advice on what to expect!

    I look at the difference of young neutering every day... My cats were done at or before 16wk thin bone, leggy compared to un neutered males of their breed and age. My Draft was gelded little before he was 3 years old at the persistence of the farm vet.. and he is more slender build and all legs then my other draft that was gelded at 7 years old. Do have reason to believe it does have an effect on them when done before they finish growing.

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    Re: Getting a rough collie, would love some advice on what to expect!

    My male Rough Collie Tobi was adopted from a shelter at 18 months. His original owners had bought him as a puppy at a Farmers market. They had a 2 year old child and when he was turned in to the humane society they said the dog was too big for the house. After bringing Tobi home I found that meant that he had little training, locked in a crate most of the day and was basically wild in the home and mouthy. All was taken care of after a few training classes and patience. Collies can be very independent but are also smart. They don't always rush out to greet you when arriving home like a Lab or Retriever might. Barking is more of an issue to control when they are in the home than out and about on a leash. Tobi had a thing for utility trailers and pick up trucks but I kept taking him to see every one I could find and he now ignores them when out. Not however, when he sees them from inside the home. Still working on that. Plan to vacuum a lot. I have not found grooming a Collie as bad as one might think EXCEPT when they are blowing their coat. Do it regularly or matting is the price you will pay. My Tobi gets professionally groomed about every 4 months.
    Tobi has been trained to be a therapy dog and is an excellent one. Also reading dog at elementary school for special ed students. There non threatening looks and the fact that Lassie is still remembered does not hurt either. Most Collies I have known are non threatening to both other animals and other people. Great temperament if treated well. Like every dog consistency and exercise are a plus. I had Tobis DNA tested due to the ivermectin problem [heartworm medication]where the chemical could not be eliminated from their brain and caused death in some instances. Tobi tested negative so I use Heartguard. Healthy breed. With a little care, training and patience you should have a great dog and an enjoyable relationship. Good luck.

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